Dr Tickell's evidence cited in Scottish Parliament Committee report

27 September 2017

Evidence received from Law Lecturer Dr Andrew Tickell has been published in the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee report on the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill.

The stage 1 report cites evidence given by Dr Tickell in May. He warned of the risk of over-criminalisation when the law intervenes in ‘family and romantic life’.

He said: “The Bill must discriminate between serious wrongs which deserve to be prosecuted and even unpleasant and irrational behaviour which ought to fall below the threshold of criminality. This is no easy task.”

Dr Tickell argued that it would not be in the public interest to take relatively trivial cases to court, pointing out that legislators should get the law correct in the first place rather than trusting the prosecutors to use the law as it was intended.

Although broadly supportive of the aims of the Bill, Tickell argued that the Scottish Government's proposals risked setting the threshold for criminality too low. He suggested that Scotland could follow the approach taken in England and Wales in 2015.

The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill was introduced by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson MSP, on 17 March 2017. The Bill is currently at Stage 1. Read more